Perry, James H
Perry, James H.
D.D., a noted minister of the Methodist Episcopal Church, was born in Ulster Co., N. Y., in 1811. His education commenced at an early age, and he made rapid progress in his studies until he was prepared to enter as a cadet at the Military Academy at West Point. Becoming strongly interested in the cause of Texan independence, he resigned his position in the academy in the third year of his connection with it, and, accepting the appointment of colonel in the service of Texas, proceeded to raise a regiment in New York, and then embarked and reached Texas in time to participate in the battle of San Jacinto, which resulted in the defeat of Santa Anna and the establishment of Texan independence. Upon his return from Texas he settled with his family in Newburgh, N. Y. By invitation of his sister, a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church, he was induced to attend a love-feast, where the strange but consoling truths of experimental religion excited his attention. At an early moment he disclosed his feelings to the Rev. Seymour Landon, then pastor of the Church. The result was his profession of religion, and he united with the Church on probation. Shortly after he felt called of God to the work of the holy ministry. In 1838 he joined the New York Conference, and was appointed to Burlington and Bristol Circuit, Connecticut During his ministry, which lasted without interruption from 1838 to the year of his death, he filled many of the first appointments in the New York and New York East Conferences. He was a delegate to the General Conference of 1856. ' Shortly after the breaking out of the late civil war, Dr. Perry, believing it to be his duty to give his country the benefit of his military experience, accepted the command of the Forty-eighth Regiment of New York Volunteers. He was ordered to Annapolis, from whence he embarked for the South, and rendered eminent services to the United States army. After the fall of Pulaski he was put in command, and in this fort he died of apoplexy, June 18,1863. As a preacher Dr. Perry "was calm and impressive. He kept constantly in view the great ends of preachingthe conversion of sinners and the building up of believers in the faith. In debate he was dexterous and cogent, No matter what might be the topic of controversy, ht was an able advocate and a formidable opponent. His ability as a logician and his tact as a debater made him naturally a leader upon the floor of Conference. His brethren who adopted his views of Church administration relied unhesitatingly upon his sagacity, and followed his suggestions with confidence. His well-known kindness of disposition subjected him to constant calls to appear as an advocate in behalf of parties who were, or were likely to be, brought under Conference censure. The services rendered by him at such times were purely disinterested. In his attachments Dr. Perry was firm and constant. He grappled his friends to him with 'hooks of steel.' His character was so positive that he was incapable of indifference; he liked or disliked decidedly, and with all the force of a strong nature. His ministry was fruitful of good." See Minutes of Conf. 1863, p. 65, 66; Smith, Memoirs of N. Y. and N. Y. East Conf. p. 256-262; Appleton, Annual Cyclop. 1863.